Human Rights Watch accuses Russia of using cluster bombs

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August 15, 2008 11:55

 
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Human Rights Watch said Friday it has collected evidence of Russian warplanes using cluster bomb against civilian areas in Georgia. The New York-based international rights group has urged Russia to stop using the weapons, which more than 100 nations have agreed to outlaw. Human Rights Watch says in a report released Friday that Russian military aircraft using cluster bombs killed at least 11 civilians and injured dozens in the town of Gori and the village of Ruisi. Cluster bombs contain dozens or hundreds of smaller submunitions or bomblets that cover a wide area, indiscriminately killing and injuring civilians. Many submunitions also fail to explode, turning into de facto land mines that cause civilian casualties for months or years to come. Russia's Defense Ministry denied the claim, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported, citing an unnamed official who complained that the organization gathered the information from biased witnesses.

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